On Tuesday, April 19, Hassol, a climate change communicator who has won numerous awards, spoke to kick off a series Earth Week events.
Elon University has launched Earth Week with the author and Climate Communication Director Susan Joy Hassol delivered the keynote address on the current environmental state in a talk titled, “The Climate Crisis: Reasons for Hope.”
The focus of Hassol’s presentation was to explain the possible solutions that individuals and society could implement in response to climate change. “I hope I can give you some reasons for hope tonight, as what we do in the next few years is absolutely critical, and each of us has a role in that,” Hassol said.
McKinnon Hall hosted Hassol’s talk on Tuesday, April 19, at 7:15 p.m. Her talk was open for the public. It was one of many Earth Week events hosted at McKinnon Hall. Elon’s Office of Sustainability. Party for the Planet and a Wellness Walk are two other events this week. All of these events offer students and faculty at Elon the chance to reflect on their habits in relation to sustainability.
Hassol was introduced by Hannah Miller ‘23, the communications intern for Elon’s Office of Sustainability. Miller talked of Hassol’s A long list of achievementsHe was also the author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) most recent report. Hassol testified before the United States Senate. She has also written popular editorials and articles for Scientific American (Boston Globe), The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.
Hassol shared her vision for the future and the many benefits of tackling climate change during the one-hour speech. She shared charts and graphs that showed the long-term effects on climate change, as well as global attitudes towards it.
“The future is in our hands. We get to decide what kind of future we get to have,” Hassol said. “We must understand the seriousness of the threat and pair that with solutions.”
Hassol cited examples of youth who have taken action against climate change and suggested simple changes students could make in order to reverse the trend. These changes included riding a bicycle or walking, talking to representatives, and having conversations about the climate crisis.
Hassol ended her speech with a message of hope. She explained that climate change is a man-made issue and has man-made solutions. Hassol shared recent examples that show how clean energy has been used around the world, including increased use of solar and wind energy.
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” Hassol said, as she encouraged members of the audience to act in any way they could.
After Hassol had finished her presentation, Kelly Harer, Assistant director of Sustainability for Education and Outreach invited students and other members of the audience to ask Hassol any questions.
The Office of Sustainability, Center for Environmental Studies, Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Kernodle Center for Civic Life, and Strategic Communications Department sponsored this talk.
More information about the Office of Sustainability’s Earth Week Events can be found here.